Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
United Kingdom, 1945. The Archers. Screenplay by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Cinematography by Erwin Hillier. Produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Music by Allan Gray. Production Design by Alfred Junge. Film Editing by John Seabourne Sr..
Where you should be going is straight to the video store to rent this unforgettable classic. Fans of Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger films should not miss out on seeing this wonderful romantic comedy about a headstrong lass (a dazzling Wendy Hiller) who doesn’t seem to realize that ambition does not conquer fate. Hiller’s character is on her way north through the British isles towards the Scottish Hebrides, with the intention of marrying a wealthy, seemingly faceless British industrialist because it is the proper and wise thing to do with one’s life. Stuck on an opposing island to her own destination and unable to cross the water towards her fiance thanks to bad weather, Hiller finds herself growing more and more emotionally attached to her handsome Scottish escort (Roger Livesey), praying harder and harder every day to let the storm die down in order that she may avoid her true feelings and make her date with destiny come true. A fantastic climactic scene involving a boat ride through an ocean whirlpool is thrilling (not to mention pulled off beautifully by skilful technical direction), but until that point you find yourself delightfully saturated in the characters’ depth and their sharp observations as written out in Powell and Pressburger’s marvelous original script. Dreamily photographed in black-and-white, and featuring a gorgeous monochromatic view of the beautiful highlands of Scotland, this classic of British cinema also features strong supporting roles by Pamela Brown and an eleven year-old Petula Clark.